I am a former pentecostal turned...to anything but religion. I am very grateful for seeing the truth opened up to me (by an atheist). I am trying to find my personal position. At present, I am assuredly agnostic, but leaning toward atheism altogether. I would love to hear what you all have to say regarding the quote/title of this thread.
The title is an excerpt from an article, "'Helter Skelter' author challenges God in his new book". In context it reads:
" The faithful take a beating in Bugliosi's book, but he doesn't spare atheists either.
"When I hear theists and atheists pontificating on how they know God does or does not exist, I can only smile at the irrationality and, yes, vanity of the notion," he writes.
Bugliosi believes that atheists have failed to account for the "first cause" argument for God's existence - that someone or something created the universe. "We know from our human experience that nothing in existence can give itself existence because if it did, then it would have to have preceded itself, an impossibility," he writes. "
The whole article is here:
I look forward to your responses.
Bugliosi believes that atheists have failed to account for the "first cause" argument for God's existence - that someone or something created the universe.
That argument shoots it self in the foot when you ask, well then who created god?
Atheism doesn't actually claim to know how we got here because the results aren't in. The only people who are certain of this uncertainty are those who have fabricated the catch all extraordinary explanation of 'god'.
There could, of course, be a perpetual chain of events of which we are a part. We could also limit our concept of time to our timespace - which is finite and therefore did in fact 'come into' existence. In that sense, we could suggest that it came from nothing, which is absurd - unless it is true. We could also suggest that it was created by a super being of sorts, if you like - I for one have no feelings about the super being causation other than I feel there is no evidence for it, and that it isn't true to the concept of 'god' with which I am most familiar. In point of fact, you could label any of these things god, or you could just label them what they are as they come to be known and labelled - which is, I think, where most atheists stand.
So no, we can't account for our origins, but at least we are looking.
As Bugliosi argues about being irrational and vain in claiming "knowledge" of the origin, are agnostics the only ones being realistic and fair? To say, as an atheist, "we can't account for our origins" is admitting a lack of knowledge (obviously) so aren't you just saying you're agnostic?
I guess my confusion is simply in the division between atheism and agnosticism. I'm sure this is elementary to most of you, PLEASE enlighten me--I would love nothing more than growing past the newbie stage of this transition.
That makes so much more sense to me now. Cleared that right up! Gnostic meaning knowledge, and theism being believe. So a person could be a gnostic theist (claiming that they know god exists and they believe in him) or an agnostic atheist (claiming that they don't know if God exists for sure, but they don't believe in him anyway). <--we call that active listening.
Thank you for expanding!
To be honest, all I can offer you is my personal take on this, which is not very representative of Atheism in general. A lot of it comes down to how you define the word 'god'. If you think that some as yet undiscovered being might meet your definition of 'god' then you'd really have to admit that we can't know whether or not that being exists and you'ld really have to call yourself agnostic. If your definition of god is much more restricted, and you feel that the evidence is very strongly in favour of that being not existing, then you would be well founded in self-describing as atheist, although you would have to admit that you're a 'little agnostic' because there is no way to be certain.
That which I define as god, the concept that I grew up with and am most familiar with, is as far as I am able to discern at this point, completely impossible and self contradicting. For this reason I have a little trouble labeling myself, but for the most part I am well described as a 'militant atheist'. To that end, I don't dispute the conscious prime mover possibility, I just don't consider that to be 'god'.
There is really a lot of room here, but if you don't specifically believe there is a supreme super being of sorts, then you can rest assured that you are somewhere in the agnostic/atheist spectrum. Oh, you may want to read about deism, because there are some other god-concepts out there that may or may not expand your definition of 'god'. That being said, you might also be a deist.
Theist, deist, atheist or agnostic you are most welcome here as long as you are seeking that which can be reasonably discerned.
It's a difficult question to answer really in that it applies to both atheism and religion. As an atheist, I believe it is my job to stand up, be honest and say "I don't know the answer" when I do not know, not make something up.
That been said, we do have evidence of creation - small things and well the universe or earth itself, but we don't know what ACTUALLY happened - we have some puzzle pieces but others to find and put together. So we know bits of the picture.
So... I don't know who or what created this universe, or even who or what created that.
The best thing you can do as an atheist is BE HONEST with yourself about things that are simply not known about yet.